What Coffee Machine Does Starbucks Use?

What Coffee Machine Does Starbucks Use? How Automatic Coffee Machines Have Replaced Traditional Ones

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They say that there are three things which determine the quality of one’s coffee: The coffee machine, the coffee beans and the hand. While the first two are quite intuitive, the hand refers to the person actually making the coffee.

The barista has always played a massive role in the end quality of the coffee served, and this is the reason why the taste of the coffee in franchised restaurants and coffee shops can differ so greatly depending on which branch you choose to go to. Most big chains throughout the world have come to recognise and realise the importance of the “hand” component, and to ensure 100% consistency across stores, have made the shift to automatic coffee machines.

An automatic coffee machine is essentially any coffee machine which grinds, tamps and extracts the coffee at the touch of a button. Automatics come in a wide variety of sizes from the very smallest home bean to cup machine to the big daddys used in the likes of Starbucks worldwide.

What Coffee Machine does Starbucks Use?

Starbucks, probably the best known coffee chain worldwide, made the shift a few years ago to Automatic. Their Baristas still are there to create the unique “Starbucks Experience” but the grinding of the coffee beans, tamping and extraction is now all done with the touch of a button guaranteeing the perfect espresso every time regardless of where in the world you are.


The manufacturers of Starbucks coffee machines is a Swiss based company called Thermoplan. Thermoplan started supplying Starbucks in 1999 and today their machines can be found in a Starbucks pretty much everywhere in the world.

An off the shelf model from these now Swiss giants will set you back around R70,000 ($5,000). The Mastrena, the model that Starbucks uses, is unfortunately not available to the public for purchase.

What Coffee Machine Does Pret Use?

Pret a Manger, another giant in the retail food and beverage industry, are not only famous for the freshest food around but also their awesome Pret coffee blend. Pret also relies on auto coffee machines to guarantee their consistency in over 300 stores worldwide.

Besides for making a consistent cup of coffee every time, Baristas free up a lot of their time to serve customers in other ways (whether it just by being more attentive or by ringing up some other items while the machine does the work)


Which Coffee Machine is Right for Your Coffee Shop?

Automatic coffee machines are not the right choice for everyone but for more and more restaurants and coffee shops they are becoming the automatic choice (excuse the pun). The pros of going auto is, like mentioned, consistency is pretty much guaranteed and oddly enough automatic coffee machines are for the most part cheaper than traditional coffee machines. The other obvious pro is that one doesn’t need to employ a specialist Barista any longer.

The one downside of going the Automatic route, which is still the argument of some coffee purists, is there is a potential to lose the “theatre” of the coffee making process. There is something special about watching a master create his craft, which you do definitely lose with a machine.

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